Hospital to grow with $1 billion expansion: Project to add 120 beds to tower

State health officials moved UK’s hospital expansion one step further along on Wednesday.

The addition of 120 beds to the ninth and 10th floors of the patient tower in UKHealthCare is the latest phase in a $1 billion expansion project that began in 2004, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The expansion will be funded almost entirely by hospital revenues, not taxpayer dollars or general fund dollars, UK spokesman Jay Blanton wrote in an email to the Kentucky Kernel.

“There have been private gifts and fund-raising for specific items like the chapel,” Blanton wrote. “But the bulk of the project has been, and will continue to be, funded from hospital revenues.”

Since 2006, UK has invested more than $763 million in patient care facilities, UK public relations officer Kristi Lopez wrote in another email to the Kentucky Kernel.

“Currently, Pavilion A — the 12-story tower that is part of UK Chandler Hospital — is nearly two-thirds completed,” Lopez wrote in the email.

The tower includes 192 patient rooms, Lopez wrote, as well as a 64-bed cardiovascular unit, an observation unit, nine operating rooms and 43 pre-operation and post-anesthesia care beds.

“Construction has begun on the next two patient floors (ninth and 10th floors) with a total addition of 128 beds,” Lopez wrote in her email. “Also currently under construction, or approved for construction, is replacement of the hospital kitchen and cafeteria, relocation of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Pavilion A, relocation of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a new entryway and family support space for Kentucky Children’s Hospital.”

Dr. Michael Karpf, the Executive Vice President for the university’s health affairs, told the Herald-Leader that even as the tower expands, other parts of the hospital must be renovated to keep up with patients’ needs and changing technology.

“The tower is being shelled out as the hospital has the funds,” Blanton wrote in his email. “Each new floor as it is ready to be fitted out, funded by the hospital, is taken to our board for its approval.”